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Hailing from Greece, Ocean of Grief's melodic doom-death dates back to 2016 when their first musical endeavor, the Fortress of My Dark Self EP, saw the light of day. This EP carried a deep influence from the sound of bands like Slumber, Enshine, Draconian, On Thorns I Lay, and Saturnus. The gloomy but melancholic feeling of the EP was followed by the self-released single "After a Long Time" and, eventually, the band's first full-length album, Nightfall's Lament, which took a deeper dive into darkness and despair.

Now in 2023, Pale Existence comes to life, and this time, Ocean of Grief's approach of the music is even darker and more melodic, moving with both heaviness and grace, immensity and sensitivity. Indeed, the Greeks exhibit a mastery of songwriting here, working with the requisite light/shade so endemic to melodic doom-death, but with a fluidity that's simply awe-inspiring: hooks, soundscapes, and ambiances take the listener from dark to light in no time. Further fleshing out the awe-inspiring landscape of Pale Existence is the album's production, which is nothing short of superb and allows each detail to ring true but without sacrificing the raw emotion at the core of Ocean of Grief's colossal sound. In a word, this is spiritual.

Melodic doom-death doesn't need to be more what it already is when it's this powerful and poignant. Without hyperbole, in Pale Existence have Ocean of Grief delivered one of the subgenre's best records of the year. Get ready to be imprisoned by two worlds! 

OCEAN OF GRIEF - Pale Existence (CD Jewel Case)

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